What We Buried
Author: Kate A. Boorman
Published: February 26, 2019
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
Siblings Liv and Jory Brewer have grown up resenting one another. Liv—former pageant queen and reality-TV star—was groomed for a life in the spotlight, while her older brother Jory, born with a partial facial paralysis, was left in the shadows. The only thing they have in common is contempt for their parents.
Now Liv is suing her mom and dad for emancipation, and Jory views the whole thing as yet another attention-getting spectacle. But on the day of the hearing, their parents mysteriously vanish, and the siblings are forced to work together. Liv feels certain she knows where they are and suspects that Jory knows more than he’s telling . . . which is true.
What starts as a simple overnight road trip soon takes a turn for the dangerous and surreal. And as the duo speeds through the deserts of Nevada, brother and sister will unearth deep family secrets that force them to relive their pasts as they try to retain a grip on the present.
What a weird book. The cover held me enthralled for so long and I finally got it for Christmas. I’m pretty sure this book will be in the 2020 Most Gorgeous Cover Tournament . . . But as we were all taught, never judge a book by its cover. It took me forever to even get into the story. The characters were insufferable. The only one I liked was Jory. Literally everyone else was shallow and unlikable. Then as the story progressed, things made less and less sense. I think that was supposed to happen, but I think it was supposed to intrigue the reader. Instead, I was frustrated.
The whole book was one big confusing, annoying meandering that led absolutely nowhere. Honestly, the only reason I’m giving 3 stars is because of the amazing cover. I really don’t think I recommend this book to anyone. It felt like a waste of time, even when I got to the end and things were “explained”.
Author: Rory Power
Published: July 9, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 10-23, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
This is one that Kim read last year and I was curious because of her review, and my library finally received it on audiobook. The premise intrigued me, but the book did not really deliver for me. Instead of being pulled into a situation that is going on 18 months, I would have liked the story from the beginning. I really enjoy books with chaos and I am sure that’s how the beginning of the Tox went.
I just was not attached to any of the girls and really did not care what happened to them. But some of what happens is frightening and definitely not for everyone. Towards the very end I became interested in the story, but that was too far gone.
This was not a bad novel, just not for me.
Author: Jeanine Cummins
Published: January 21, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 8-February 1, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
What must be said first: American Dirt is a work of fiction, and Jeanine Cummins brings us the story of Lydia and her son Luca, who lose their entire family during a quinceañera in the first few chapters of the novel. From here, Lydia and Luca have no choice but go on a journey of traveling through Mexico to illegally cross the border into the USA. American Dirt shows how much one mother will go through to save her child at all costs.
At times the novel did drag for me, as it seemed too long. American Dirt does show the reader who may not be of Hispanic origin how dangerous Mexico is and the perilous journey migrants face as they attempt to cross the border illegally. And most don’t ever make it. Some of the journey came with extremes and it seemed like Cummins was trying for some extreme shock value to some of what happens to our characters and the others they come across.
Do read the Author’s Note as Cummins gives us some insight into her wanting to write this story and her family. She is of Puerto Rican descent and her husband was an illegal immigrant. It took her five years to get American Dirt published.
I listened to the audiobook version and the narrator is Yareli Arizmendi. She is Mexican and narrated the novel with perfection. She gave a voice to the Spanish words for me, which if I had read them myself, I would have butchered the way they were supposed to be said.
Many thanks to the publishers Flatiron Books and Macmillan Audio for granting me an arc digital download of the novel to listen to.[Top]